Shhhhhh!!!

I’m not able to know why other people signed up to Facebook. For myself it was a way to stay in touch with family, reconnect with old friends and connect with new people. This was done by sharing little bits of our lives with each other. The interesting, the amazingly boring and everything in between.

I consider my facebook feed as something personal, almost like a social club filled with only people I know or am getting to know, who as I pass, just update me on whats going on in their lives and I respond in kind.

Its pleasant to cheer when these people are doing well, offer sympathy when things are going against them and just listen as they share the ordinary daily details of normal life.

But increasingly it seems a few people want to bombard my timeline with asinine videos, cliched mottoes and quizzes an intellectually challenged 9 year old would find easy.

Why?

To what purpose?

If I wanted to watch short, occasionally funny videos, I have Hulu+ with 16 seasons of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

I can pull endless trite, true, funny witty sayings from the internet. 

And quizzes? Don’t even ask!

It seems to me this kind of random spamming of ones facebook feed is like going to the movies with a whole bunch of friends, then having one of them talk loudly throughout the entire show. Its just bloody annoying.

Don’t get me wrong, we all post the occasional thing that we want to share with others. Every so often I post a music video I love just so others can appreciate it, or not. The difference is that I always post a message with it to explain either why I posted it or what it is. And I only ever post them one at a time, rarely if ever more than one a week. So its not like I’m asking that none of this stuff should be posted. But when you get 6 or 7 consecutive spams from the same person its time to say “Hey, I’m trying to watch this movie. Could you keep it quiet please” .

I always read peoples postings on my timeline. Always. If you posted an update on your life, believe me I read it. Its the whole purpose of having that account in the first place. I check probably 4 or 5 times a day and enjoy the interaction. 

But, the spam vids, pics, quizzes, and quotes, are scrolled past with nary a second glance and only a few muttered curses. 

If you want to post stuff like that I think there is a way to exclude individuals from seeing it.  If not, perhaps its time to unfriend me and  exercise your right to free speech on someone else.

So please. no more Cats playing piano, dogs chasing tails and running into glass doors. No more babies peeing in the air when a diaper is removed, or pulling weird faces. 

No more “How many squares in this picture” or “Can you name a State with no letter A in

it”

No more life affirming, friends forever, life is to be lived, enjoy the moment, plan for tomorrow, hope springs eternal messages. Thank you!

On separate note, I’m a little stuck with this. Any help would be appreciated.Image.

 

 

The woes of an aging gamer

I have now been a gamer for ummm, probably 30 years. From the moment I first invested in a Sinclair ZX81 with its massive 1k of onboard memory I was hooked. Back then you could expect to spent 3 or 4 hours copying out a games code from a magazine, typing it slowly and painfully in, firing it up, only to find a misplaced * caused the whole thing to crash. Then another 2 hours of painstakingly going through the code to see where you went wrong, before finally correcting it and getting a godawful Space Invaders copy playing on your TV in glorious 8 colours. I loved every damn minute of it.

Since then I’ve owned and played pretty much every “home computer”, console and handheld that hit the market. Found that I most enjoyed multiplayer first person shooters, and solo RPG’s. And most disliked all the sports games out there.

But, after all this time I finally have to admit that my days as a multiplayer gamer are drawing to a close. Its not that I don’t still love the challenge because I surely do, and I still enjoy each graphical and technical advance as they appear. No, the problem is simply that my reactions are so much slower than they used to be that competing equally with the kids and teens is just not possible now. Oh sure the wisdom of thousands of games is in the old noggin and I can outsmart then often enough that my stats are still pretty good. But I can’t play the games the way I love… balls to the wall, run forward, kill kill kill.

Now I have to hang back, let the youngsters go first, and sneak in behind, assisting and finishing off those enemies left behind alive. Its not a very glorious way to play.

At nearly 55 I must face up to the fact that even this style of play will soon be beyond me, and then its a downhill slope to Tetris and Kirby :(

Still,  on a more positive note, I also play word games, a lot… and frankly I can still whup ass at them. So perhaps when Halo is a thing of the past, Scrabble will still give me the buzz of taking on and defeating fellow gamers without the need for lightning fast reflexes.

Image

A view from the seafront

Another fairly sleepless night, up at about 1am and wandering restlessly round the house. I finally settled in front of the PC and after the usual few minutes checking email, facebook, and BBC news, I decided to take my bi-annual google maps streetview walk through the past. This time my old hometown of Herne Bay, Kent,

The old victorian clock tower still stands watch with its Napoleonic cannons pointing bravely out across the waves. Perhaps a bit more weathered by the elements in the 50 or so years since we first met, but unmistakably still one of my favorite childhood places to be. Back then the beach was a place of excitement. You never knew what mood the sea would be in, how high the tide would be when you got there, or what new piece of flotsam would have been washed up since your last visit. 

However, everything else about the seafront is almost unrecognizable. New car parks, new harbour, wind farm out at sea changing the view I was so familiar with.

And too, gone are most of the people who were part of my life then. Grandparents at whose hotel we lived, Parents who shaped who I would become, school teachers and so many more, all now simply memories, alive inside my head but nowhere else. Wandering this old deserted memory town therefore should be a sad, depressing and lonely thing to do. Right?

Surprisingly not. 

Having used google streetview to walk once again my old route from home to school, and wander once more along the promenade I used to take to get to Saturday Morning Cinema, I find myself strangely happy. Yes, its all different, the businesses I knew are gone, and Estate agents and Double Glazing stores now take the place of Jack and Jills Toy Shop and my favorite Fish and Chip shop. 

But underneath, the bedrock is the same. These ARE the streets my grandparents and parents knew and loved. This IS the town that gave me a childhood I wouldn’t change for anything. So how could it ever be a sad place for me to look at.

Change is the natural course of everything. nothing stays the same forever. We are all born, live our lives, and inevitably die. That’s the way it is and should be. But in passing we lay down the bedrock for those coming after us. The streets, houses, memories, and lessons we leave as bedrock for the next generation are what counts. 

Somewhat off topic.. I have noticed for Herne Bay at least, google maps is a perpetual sunny day. Stuck unchanging and frozen, proving my entire post to be inaccurate. Well bugger it. I can’t be bothered to go back and change it all now, Especially as I finally managed to import a pic of the clock tower. 

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NRA: How to shoot yourself in the foot.

Just took the time to see the NRA’s new ad that calls Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for having armed security for his kids whilst not supporting armed guards at schools.

Surely this has to be the least logical argument ever used in a TV campaign. Apart from the obviously cheap shot of dragging Obama’s kids into the debate, the whole thing simply doesn’t hold together. Arguing that because the presidents kids have armed security, so should every kid, is much like saying “Well the President has a Secret service detail to protect him, so why can’t I have my own secret service detail?”

Of all the myriad ways they could have put their viewpoint over, they chose the one that would offend and annoy as many “on the fence” people as possible, and appeal only to those who can’t apply even a modicum of logic to their decision making process.

I suppose I should be glad the NRA has shot itself in the foot in this way. But seriously, if you worry about incompetent people having access to weapons, look no further than the NRA”s ad department, and  whichever of their head honcho’s approved this POS ad.

Howdy

First post in my new blog.. yay. Not sure what form its going to take so I’ll just make this an intro.

I’m an ex-pat Brit living in the US. I’ve been here nearly 11 years now, so consider myself almost acclimatised to the place. Happily married and thankfully employed.

My hobbies include but are not limited to… Gaming (I’ve been an avid gamer for 30 years this year). Reading…( sci fi and me, we have a history). Annoying family and friends by freely expressing my views in response to others freely expressing theirs.

I am a firm believer in Science and rational thought. I was raised Church of England, but now I suppose my life stance on spirituality and religion would be most accurately, although not exactly, labelled as Secular Humanist.

Politically I’m not sure where my views lie exactly. In a two party system such as the one here, its almost impossible to agree with everything on one side or the other. But I lean toward liberality and the freedom to live life as one wishes providing you’re not forcing your beliefs and superstitions on anyone else.

So, why a blog? Well its recently become clear that Facebook isn’t an appropriate place to disagree with people since most are family and friends and many are unable to debate without taking disagreement as a personal attack on themselves. So here, I can express myself on whatever subject I wish, and family and friends who don’t like being challenged on their opinions are not forced to read it in their facebook timeline. Sure they can choose to come here, and I hope they do, but it will be their choice to engage and participate.

At my age, I’ve finally accepted that I don’t (and shouldn”t have to) suffer fools gladly, myself included on those occasions when I act foolishly. I don’t drink alcohol other than perhaps sharing two bottles of wine a year. I don’t smoke. I do love food, but am currently on a food sabbatical, dieting to improve quality and duration of life.

Well, that’s about it for my maiden post. And that’s probably about as inoffensive and neutral as it’s going to get. :)

If anyone actually reads my ramblings, hopefully they’ll choose to comment and participate. As long as it’s all civilized and on topic, all viewpoints are welcome.

Bye for now!

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